Alright, let’s be frank: I’m hardly going anywhere near a school gate this year (I graduated high school – insert scream face emoji here – over fifteen years ago). But regardless of the fact I’m a grown woman in my 30s, I still derive as much pleasure from a few back-to-school rituals and a new set of stationery as I always did.
Although thankfully these days the stationery is from Kate Spade, the new school shoes are replaced by Ferragamo’s and the knee-high socks by Wolford opaque stockings, some things stay the same: I always start each season with a big organising and de-cluttering session (spring cleaning the entire house, making a list of what needs updating, and going through my wardrobe to remove anything worn out, the wrong size or no longer loved), re-stocking the basics and moving the out-of-season supplies to storage.
So whether you’re 15 or 35, the start of new term is always the perfect time to take stock of your progress during the year, set new goals, have an almighty organise + de-clutter session at home, and re-stock your supplies with a few lovely things for the new season. And there’s always room for excellent new stationery.
A roundup of my favourite back-to-school supplies (for grownups):
I’d love to know: do you still start the new season with a few old back-to-school rituals? What are your favourite things to do + re-stock this time of year?
Decking the halls for the holidays + filling my home with festive sparkle. My new Louboutin heels that look like presents for my feet. Pink champagne and cocktail hour by the tree. The sounds of the Rat Pack Christmas album. Kate Spade cocktail rings + J. Crew crystal earrings. Curling up with tea and Gatsby on rainy evenings. Fairy lights + golden owl candles from Anthropologie. Wrapping presents. Wearing these sequinned heels to holiday parties. A shiny new bow purse from Kate Spade. Gingerbread men. Christmas movie marathons.
London all dressed up for the season. Festive sparkle and department store Christmas windows on Oxford Street. Sale shopping at Selfridges. Mulberry’s fairy tale pop-up at Harrods. Wandering through Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery after work. An evening at The Nutcracker (my favourite annual Christmas tradition). Old London glamour and the best lobster rolls in town at The Delaunay. Stella McCartney‘s Christmas lights (and this pink silk dress of dreams). Cristmas loveliness with family. Wintery walks around Mayfair. The glow of The Ritz at sundown.
The past two weeks have been a hectic whirlwind at work, leaving me so busy there was (almost) no time left for festive celebration. But even when I’m working the longest days, it’s important to me to make a little time to enjoy this wonderful season; the Christmas lights making all of London twinkle on my way home, watching the skaters twirl around the ice rink on the weekend, the sound of carollers at Parliament as I work, homemade mince pies and eggnog after supper, house parties with friends, wrapping presents with the Clever Boyfriend at home while watching our favourite holiday movies and a magical evening at the Nutcracker with my family (it wouldn’t be Christmas to me without a night at the ballet).
Here, a few of my favourite things that feel perfectly appropriate for the holiday season: a pair of fabulous Christian Louboutin red silk bow heels (treasure-hunted at the Louboutin sample sale) for cocktail hour with a Kate Spade purse to match, glittery manicures and twinkly jewels, a few sparkly accessories that make me feel like I’m unwrapping presents every time I put them on, and holiday candles that make my house smell like a festive cocktail of Christmas trees and wood fires and cranberries and loveliness.
Enjoying all the spring pleasures of my favourite month. Buying bunches of perfect pink peonies at the market. Lunchtime picnics in the park. Cherry blossoms in full bloom. Choosing to live colourfully. Adding a dash of springtime pink and sparkle everyday. Strolling the streets of Chelsea in colourful bloom (walking a mile is more fun in glittery Miu Miu heels). Learning to make the perfect martinis and macarons with Lulu Guinness. Cocktails and Mayfair private members clubs.
Glorious sunny weekends playing tourist in my own town. Spring cleaning. Packing away the cashmere and pulling out all my favourite summer things. Wearing lace and pastels and ladylike dresses and heels. Sparkly new treasures. Bike rides and long train rides. Heading north for a weekend of castles, bookshops and hidden tea rooms in Durham. J. Crew‘s marvellous London popup shop. Lunch with Jenna Lyons (girl crush) at Caravan. Sole sisters with Lucy and Laura. Handbags and afternoon tea with Kate Spade. Always stopping to smell the darling buds of May in bloom all over the city.
Walks through meadows of wild bluebells. The streets of Cambridge lined with heavenly-scented lilac trees. My neighbourhood looking respondent in spring’s glory. Filling my home with more flowers than is necessary just because it is springtime. Lulu Frost jewels everyday (this pearl-encrusted lips collar has barely left my neck). Chanel candy. Sweet treats: rosewater cupcakes, homemade macarons (with the help of an Oh La La class) and this candy pink Lulu Guinness lips clutch. Spring produce from the farmer’s markets. Date nights at Jamie Oliver. Darling blush pink Ferragamo varina bow flats and Marc Jacobs party heels.